Car accidents often cause injuries to the hands and wrists. These injuries usually occur when drivers’ or passengers’ hands or wrists hit objects in the interior of the vehicle during the crash, such as the airbags, steering wheel, window, windshield or dashboard.
Some of the most common hand and wrist injuries caused by car accidents are listed below. If you suffered any of these injuries, contact our Cincinnati car accident attorneys to discuss your legal options. Wrist injuries can cause a variety of severe side effects and we may be able to obtain compensation to help fund your treatment and recovery.
The wrist is made up of 13 bones extending into the hand. These connect to 14 bones in your fingers.
These delicate bones can be easily fractured or crushed when blunt force trauma occurs in a car accident, such as when the hands or wrists hit things in the car, like the steering wheel.
Common fracture-related wrist injuries include:
- Scaphoid fracture
- Broken wrist
- Fractured knuckles
- Fractured fingers
- Crush injuries to the hands and wrists
Fractures where the bones do not stay in place are called displaced fractures. When this occurs, the bones in the wrist must be moved into the proper position. A cast or sling is needed to aid in healing such fractures.
Unfortunately, even when the broken wrist is set in a cast, the bones may not reposition correctly. This may cause pain and require future medical treatments to correct.
The bones of the wrist are connected by sturdy tissues called ligaments. When the wrist strikes a hard object during an accident, the ligaments can be damaged, causing a sprain.
Wrist sprains are painful, and can lead to chronic instability in the wrists and hands, as well as chronic arthritis.
Wrist sprains are ranked by severity of damage to the ligaments:
Grade One Sprain
Grade one is the least severe wrist sprain resulting from a car accident. Grade one sprains occur when the ligaments in the wrist become stretched, but remain intact and do not tear at all.
Grade Two Sprain
Partial tears to wrist ligaments are considered grade two sprains. Torn ligaments can cause you to lose function in the affected wrist or hand.
Grade Three Sprain
Grade three is the most severe level of sprain you can suffer in a car accident. The ligaments connecting the wrist bones are completely torn through. Surgery is required to fix a grade three sprain. In some cases, a grade three sprain can cause an avulsion fracture, which is when a portion of the bone is broken off as the ligament tears.
Wrist joints may become dislocated due to accident impact. When the joints are dislocated, the hands and wrists cannot move properly. Dislocations are very painful, and if they are not treated immediately, they may result in permanent damage.
Damage To Tendons
The tendons in the wrists connect the wrist muscles to its bones. They may become inflamed when impacted by blunt trauma. Tendonitis can develop in the affected area and cause pain ranging from mild to severe.
Wrist Injury Symptoms
If you notice any of the following symptoms after a car accident, you may have a wrist injury:
- Pain in the wrists, palms or fingers
- Swelling of the wrists or hands
- Bruising and discoloration near the wrist
- Numbness in the wrists, hands or fingers
- Difficulty straightening or flexing the wrists or fingers
- Inability to grasp or hold objects
However, wrist injuries do not always convey symptoms right away. That is why it is important that you seek medical care immediately after a car accident to determine if a hand or wrist injury occurred. If left untreated, car accident wrist injuries can become progressively worse and possibly cause chronic problems.
Your physician will perform the necessary x-rays and MRIs to evaluate the extent of your wrist injury. These images will allow them to plan the best course of treatment to heal your injuries.
It is critical that you follow doctors’ orders to speed your recovery and ensure you heal correctly. An improperly healed wrist injury can make everyday tasks as well as job-related tasks more difficult, painful or impossible.
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers For A Free, No Obligation Legal Consultation
Nothing can change what happened in your car accident. However, the law allows victims of car accidents to recover compensation if their injuries were caused by negligence. The purpose of compensation is to return you to the position you were in before the crash by covering medical bills and other expenses created by your injury.
Your best chance of recovering all of the compensation you deserve is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
The Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have the experience and legal knowledge to build a strong case in your favor. We are committed to doing what is in your best interest throughout the legal process.
Your initial legal consultation is always free, and there is no obligation to move forward with your lawsuit. Should you choose to pursue legal action, we work on contingency only. This means we only charge legal fees when we are able to recover compensation for you.